Who: Kyra Doumlele, 22, Columbia Heights resident
Where we spotted her: Getting some air outside Masa 14, a new restaurant on 14th Street, NW.
What she’s wearing: Thrift-store galore—the fur hat, black bodice, mauve belt, black velvet blazer, two-tone bag, 1920s filigree bracelet, and (plastic) diamond necklaces are all from local vintage shops. Target shoes, an antique jaguar brooch, and high-waisted shorts round out the ensemble.
There are so many unique facets of this look to discuss. Let’s begin with the shorts.
“I made them completely from scratch. My aunt taught me how to use a sewing machine a million years ago, and around the same time, she gave me a bunch of fabric that gets incorporated into one piece or another.”
And that fantastic piece atop your head?
“It’s from the Herndon Salvation Army. As far as hats go, I’m also a big fan of berets—I have one in every color. You can get them at thrift stores for 50 cents, and they’re an easy way to add color and warmth to an outfit. I also have a vintage black cloche with brass rings built into the sides. I reserve that for special occasions, like going to the National Symphony Orchestra.”
We can’t forget the sparkle. How do you choose your accessories?
“I like to add a touch of humor to what I wear, so I’ll often choose ridiculously oversize jewelry. I love costume jewelry because it’s a play on traditional vestiges of wealth and circumstance. I’ll wear my two-inch lion’s-head earrings—bought at a thrift store for $1—with just about any outfit. I think a lot about fashion, but I’m still a firm believer that we shouldn’t take what we wear too seriously.”
What Washington shops help you create your distinct look?
“I go to Junction when I feel like getting right to the good vintage stuff, Habitat (1510 U St., NW) for owner/designer Gustavo Dinucci’s statement cocktail rings, Dekka for the eclectic mix of local creations, and Ruff & Ready Furnishings (1908 14th St., NW) for everything you didn’t know you needed—like 1960s lowball glasses with the monuments etched in gold. DURKL always has great T-shirts and neon denim, and local designer De*Nada (sold at Redeem) makes very necessary knit accessories.”
Where do you go for a great night out in Washington?
“DC9. The staff, the size, the ambiance, the crowd—it’s the perfect setup. You know you’re always going to have a great time, especially if the Nouveau Riche DJs or DJ Jackie O is spinning. It’s always dark and crowded, so I can pull out all the stops and still not feel conspicuous wearing a neon tiger-print dress with plenty of chain necklaces and monster heels.”
Describe your style in five words or fewer.
“1980s eccentric Connecticut grande dame.”
Kyra’s pinned a stunning crystal-encrusted jaguar so high on her jacket collar that it’s actually sitting on her shoulder. We were so busy drooling over this chic approach to the over-done brooch trend that it took a while to appreciate the intelligence behind the rest of her outfit. A fur hat, velvet blazer, and opaque tights provide warmth and texture on a chilly October night, while a structured bustier underpinning and loads of glitzy chains glam things up. Kyra is completely winter-party ready, and there’s not a shawl, cocktail dress, or sequin in sight. Hooray for steering clear of the Washington wardrobe rut!